Opening in summer 2025, Universal’s Epic Universe is a new theme park being built now in Orlando. The only section of the park that has been confirmed by the company so far is Super Nintendo World. Opening with all three rides, including Mario Kart and the Donkey Kong coaster, as well as the interactive Power-Up band activities, this will be the largest Nintendo land in the world.
Here is everything we know (so far) about Super Nintendo World at Epic Universe. Be sure to see the video version of this story below for additional visuals.
Epic Universe will be Universal Orlando’s newest theme park when it opens in 2025. It is being built a couple miles south of the current parks.
In this 5-part series we are digging deeper into each of the areas of the new theme park. (See our previous installments on Universal Monsters and the Central Hub.) Today we are talking about the Super Nintendo World section of the park, known as Project 904 in permits.
Since announcing their partnership in 2015, Universal Parks and Nintendo have said there will be four Super Nintendo World locations built around the world. The land at Epic Universe will not be the first, as one will have already opened at Universal Studios Japan and in Universal Studios Hollywood by then, but we are expecting this one to be the largest by size. Universal has announced that Universal Studios Singapore is set to receive a version of the land as well.
Super Nintendo World in Epic Universe will share the most similarities with the land in Universal Studios Japan, as the other Super Nintendo World locations in Hollywood and Singapore will not have as many attractions.
The version of the land inside of Epic Universe is expected to open with the Mario Kart ride, Yoshi ride, and the Donkey Kong roller coaster when the park opens in 2025. The Donkey Kong coaster did not open with the land in Japan, but instead is being built as an expansion, which is scheduled to open there in 2024.
Overlaying the Super Nintendo World plans for Epic Universe onto the land in Japan tells us that Orlando’s version will be more than 40,000 square feet larger. We can also see how some elements of the two lands do not line up, most notably the area’s entry through Peach’s Castle, as well as other areas of the Mushroom Kingdom courtyard.
Without being limited by space, like the land was in Universal Studios Japan, Super Nintendo World’s pathways and central courtyard area should have a little bit more room to breathe in Epic Universe. It is also possible that the quick service restaurant will have additional space for more seating in Orlando.
There were rumors early in development that Orlando’s version may even include small details and extra surprises that wouldn’t be found anywhere else. One of these was the addition of a small character theater located underneath Peach’s Castle. With additional space for character greetings, perhaps this version of the land could open with more characters?
One major difference we do know about for Epic Universe’s version of Super Nintendo World, is how we will enter the land. As with all of the lands within this park, we will enter via a portal. The beacon atop the portal will be made up of several colorful pipes along with floating Power-Ups like Mushrooms and glowing Super Stars.
After entering, the inside will contain the familiar green pipe appearance and lighting effects as seen in other Super Nintendo Worlds. Instead of simply walking through the pipe though, we will ride an escalator up to reach the land’s entry.
Whereas the land starts on the second level already in Japan, this version will have to transport us from ground level to the second level via an escalator. After reaching the top, the green pipe will transition to the interior of Peach’s Castle, just as it does in Japan, allowing us to enter the land the same way.
Some of the names of the attractions and dining will be different from Japan. For example the main attraction’s name is Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge in Japan, but is named Bowser’s Challenge here in the United States. Instead of Kinopio’s Cafe, our main dining location is named Toadstool Cafe.
This main dining location is listed as having 344 seats in permits. The menu in Epic Universe for this upscale quick service location will likely be similar, or the same, as the one introduced in Universal Studios Hollywood. There you can find foods like Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots, Super Mushroom Soup, Piranha Plant Caprese, Mario Bacon Cheeseburger, Luigi Pesto Chicken Burger, and desserts including the ‘?’ Block Tiramisu and Princess Peach Cupcake.
The two snack windows found at Universal Japan’s version of the land are expected to be included at Epic Universe as well. One, named Pit Stop Popcorn, will be located near the Mario Kart ride on the second level. The other, named Yoshi’s Snack Island, is on the lower level near the Yoshi ride. It is not yet known if these windows will keep their original names or not.
The Mario Kart ride is expected to be the same within all versions of Super Nintendo World. This interactive dark ride attraction combines real physical sets, projection mapped elements, and augmented reality visors to create a new type of theme park attraction. It’s possible that the version of this attraction in Epic Universe may contain an additional queue section not found in Japan, rumored to be themed as Bowser’s Fortress courtyard.
The family omnimover-style attraction, named Yoshi’s Adventure, is expected to remain nearly identical to its Japan counterpart as well. This continually moving ride not only takes you on a brief scenic tour over the Mushroom Kingdom, but it is actually interactive. Riders need to press the three colorful egg buttons at the correct times throughout the ride to win and complete their task for Captain Toad.
The third attraction will be the Donkey Kong roller coaster, expected to be named Mine Cart Madness. This ride is currently being built at both Universal Studios Japan and Epic Universe. It will feature both indoor and outdoor segments, where our runaway mine cart will appear to jump over gaps in the track as we encounter multiple characters from the video game series.
See our previous story for a complete rumored scene by scene breakdown of this attraction, as well as more details on the technology behind it.
Plans also seem to show a small expansion area at the back of the land, beside the Donkey Kong ride. It is unknown if this expansion space would be used to add something to the Donkey Kong mini-land itself, or be connected to the Mushroom Kingdom directly. There were early concepts for a Donkey Kong themed play area, so perhaps this space could be utilized for something like that someday.
Super Nintendo World in Epic Universe will also open with all of the Power-Up Band challenges and interactive elements. These wristbands will be available for purchase, and can keep track of your scores on Mario Kart, show how many coins you’ve “collected” around the land, and allow you to participate in interactive games.
These interactive challenges are essentially the land’s fourth attraction, and you could easily spend hours experiencing them all. After completing at least three “key challenges” you can participate in the Boss Battle, which acts as a finale, where you team up with others to defeat Bowser, Jr.
The land will feature several carts that sell the Power-Up Bands, as well as at least two gift shop locations. One of these retail locations will be Mario Motors, the Mario Kart ride’s exit gift shop on the upper level, and the other will be 1-UP Factory, the land’s main gift shop on the lower level.
There will be one more Nintendo-themed store at Epic Universe as well, but this one will be located outside of the actual land. Facing the park’s central hub, this small Nintendo store will be accessible by guests on their way out of the land, perfect for last minute souvenirs. It will also allow guests to shop for Nintendo-themed merchandise even after the land has closed or is temporarily at capacity.
This version of Super Nintendo World will also have additional exits on the lower level that lead directly to the hub. The land in Universal Studios Japan does not have that, forcing all guests to exit on the second level.
While this version of Super Nintendo World will not be the first, or even the second, to open in the world, it will be the most complete when it opens in summer 2025. Plus, with its somewhat larger footprint, this version of the land may hold hidden surprises you won’t find anywhere else. Whether those include that rumored character stage, additional meet and greet characters, or perhaps even an extra Power-Up Band challenge, remains to be seen. Regardless, there is no doubt that this will be an extremely popular, and busy, part of Epic Universe.
That’s it for this installment, but be sure to check out our previous stories all about the Universal Monsters land and the Central Hub. Stay tuned for more information for each of the lands at Epic Universe, including never before seen details. Be sure to check out the video version of this story for additional visuals.
Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update. Official Art: Universal Orlando | Official Photos: Universal Studios Japan | Graphics: Alicia Stella | Aerial Photos: Bioreconstruct | Other Images as Captioned